Selecting an Approach for a Qualitative Research Plan
Creswell (2013) contends that “we need to identify our approach to qualitative inquiry in order to present it as a sophisticated study, to offer it as a specific type so that reviewers can properly assess it, and…to offer some way of organizing ideas that can be grounded in the scholarly literature of qualitative research” (p. 69). Although I believe all three arguments cited by the author are important, this week’s readings and discussion emphasized the third reason in particular. Indeed, reviewing the five approaches provided me with ideas regarding how to investigate and explore the topic. Although I am still struggling with some of the details and aspects, a rough framework is beginning to emerge.
Returning to this week’s discussion topic, the following research questions:
Central question: What is the meaning of democratic participation in today’s society?
• Since comparatively fewer people are voting today than fifty years ago, how are people participating in the democratic process?
• What is driving the changes in political participation towards less traditional forums?
• What is the impact of these forums on the political process (power, authority, success)?
• How effective/important are new forums of democratic participation?
Based on the proposed questions, I would argue that a phenomenological or case study approach would be most appropriate. Phenomenology would be suitable to investigate democratic participation as it explores a phenomenon, “describing the common meaning for several individuals of their lived experiences of a concept” (Creswell, 2013, p. 76). The topic, as summarized in the central question, seeks to explore the meaning of democratic participation in today’s society. It seeks to understand what has changed as well as why these changes have occurred. Of course, the choice of participants has to include individuals that have experienced the...